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Recorded – watch the full episode on YouTube.
Do you think there’s some sort of middle level in between junior and senior developer?
Paola Mata: So it's interesting. I was at BuzzFeed before the Times for four years. I was never actually hired with a junior title, but I was more or less a junior. And then they changed their career ladders and the titles changed and we switched to software engineer. So now it's similar to what we have at the Times where it's associate engineer more or less what you would think of as a junior.
Then there's just like software engineer, which is the mid level where you could stay for a few years, maybe like three, five. It took me about three or five years, I would say. And then senior and then there are more levels where you can continue to grow either as an individual programmer who's pushing code or into management.
Paul Hudson: So what do you think about your actual day-to-day jobs, the actual things you would do in a day? Coding obviously is part of what you said, but you also mentioned planning, training, architecture, and more. Are you also interfacing with the business side of things, maybe marketing, maybe product, maybe design, commercials or you're leaving that to other folks?
“Then senior and then there are more levels where you can continue to grow either as an individual programmer who's pushing code or into management.”
Paola Mata: So it really depends on the project. If I'm writing, let's say something ad related or maybe a test that we're going to run with the marketing team to push some kind of alert. Then I might be working with them more closely. The business side, probably less. So I do interact a lot with our data engineers. So the people who analyze all the analytics that we gather and I'm working with them a lot lately.
Actually I'm working on implementing a new analytics framework that we're using across the company now. Who else might I interact with? Just other teams as well. At the Times we have what's called an app platforms team and they work on a lot of shared libraries that we use across apps.
Because at least right now we have three different iOS apps. So we have the news reader, we have crosswords and cooking, which is the team I work on. Which are very different apps, but we can still take advantage of libraries and tools as well.
Paul Hudson: Some companies move developers from junior to senior roles based on years worked in the profession. Do you feel that's a correct approach?
Paola Mata: So I think it can be used as a general guideline, but even like, as I said, three to five, that's a big range. I think it depends honestly. Some people move faster than others. Everyone has their path. It's also depends on the opportunities that you're given to really show your skills. That doesn't always happen. Maybe other folks on your team are getting those more visible, big projects.
I think one of the main ways that you can really show your skills is taking on something that's like, you have more ownership of it. And it's pretty high visibility, like a major feature that's going to really show off your skills and show what you can do.
This transcript was recorded as part of Swiftly Speaking. You can watch the full original episode on YouTube, or subscribe to the audio version on Apple Podcasts.
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